Afghan National Police (ANP)

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Establishing a Police Force for Afghanistan

 

The Afghan Interim Authority (AIA) was established on December 22, 2001, seventeen days after the signing of the Bonn Agreement.The Bonn Agreement provided the AIA with the internationally recognized powers to manage all aspects associated with self-governance.  The agreement was facilitated by the United Nations (UN) Talks on Afghanistan and international partners who pledged their commitment to the Afghan effort. In the area of security, the international community pledged to help the Afghan authority establish and train “new Afghan security and armed forces”.2  Accordingly, the United Nations Security Council assumed the responsibility for tasking, organizing and authorizing an “International Security Force” for Afghanistan.

United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1386 authorized the establishment of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), commanded and organized by the U.K. and Northern Ireland (ISAF I), to assist the AIA with the maintenance of security in and around Kabul for a six-month period.3  UNSCR 1386 called upon Member States “to contribute personnel, equipment and other resources to the International Security Assistance Force” and to work with the AIA in developing Afghan security and armed forces.4

Following the Bonn Agreement, Germany took responsibility for training the Afghan National Police (ANP) as the lead nation.5  In February of 2002, representatives from 18 nations met in Berlin to discuss details of the ANP support mission. A German fact-finding mission in January 2002 had concluded that a “provision of 11 instructors” and a “renovation of the police academy and reconstruction of police stations in Kabul” were needed in addition to the “50 police vehicles” that had already begun to arrive. Additionally, seven other nations pledged various levels of support to the ANP efforts, and ISAF had already begun efforts to repair numerous police stations.

In April of 2002, international donors met in Geneva, Switzerland to pledge aid towards security sector reform (SSR) including the Afghan National Police. Afghanistan’s SSR agenda was comprised of five pillars.7  In conjunction with the AIA, Afghan and German planners calculated an initial ANP force of 62,000 was needed.8  In August 2002, the Germans officially instituted a three year training plan for officers and a one year plan for non-commissioned officers.

UNSCR 1444 in November 2002 called for the establishment of a “fully representative, professional and multi-ethnic army and police forces” instructing the ISAF to work with the AIA (renamed, Afghan Transitional Authority) to accomplish these ends under the overall command and organizational lead of Germany and the Netherlands, at the request of the ATA (under ISAF III).

As the largest donor for ANP training, the United States assisted the German-led efforts. In 2003, the United States began a police training mission under State Department/INL (Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs) authority in Afghanistan due to concerns that the German effort was “moving too slowly and was concentrating on officers,” in addition to the organization shortfalls of the “lead nation” approach, which generated insufficient coordination on training efforts.10  Accordingly, there were concerns regarding the overall German plan for reconstituting the ANP. German officials reported that they viewed their role in Afghanistan, primarily, as “advising and consulting,” rather than “as the major implementer.”11  State/INL used contracted advisors “to train and equip the police, advise the Ministry of Interior, and provide infrastructure assistance, including constructing several police training centers.”12  The Department of Defense provided equipment and infrastructure assistance through the Office of Military Cooperation Afghanistan (OMC-A).13  OMC-A funded the construction of the Central Training Center for Police in Kabul in May of 2003, followed by the construction of seven Regional Training Centers (RTCs) across the country.14

The Berlin Conference on Afghanistan on April 1, 2004 reported that “all major police facilities in Kabul had been rebuilt and equipped” while “work had begun in four provinces and… underway in seven more provinces.”15   Over 5,000 commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers had been trained at the National Police Academy, while “about 4000 officers and patrolmen” were undergoing training in regional training centers.16  By January 2005, Germany and State/INL had trained 35,000 police forces; however, corruption, desertion and drug abuse remained serious problems and larger reform efforts were needed.17

The U.S. Department of Defense took the lead in U.S. police reform efforts from State /INL in April 2005.18  By July 2005, OSC-A (renamed the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) in 2006) formally assumed control of ANP reformation and training.19

The current ANP end-state is set at 82,000, to be achieved by 2011.20  As of early 2009, there were approximately 76,000 registered police at varying levels of operational capacity. Of the 373 ANP units, only 34 units were able to conduct battalion-level operations with international support or enablers as of December 2008.21  By 2010, it is predicted that roughly half of all ANP units will be able to conduct operations at the battalion level.22

 

The Focused District Development Program

 

Reforming the ANP continues to be a large task, due to longstanding accusations of corruption and inefficiency. The Focused District Development (FDD) program was put into action by the Afghan Ministry of the Interior (MoI) in late 2007 to improve ANP reform efforts. FDD aims to enhance ANP capabilities and build the rule of law, in all 365 districts of Afghanistan. FDD was designed to reform the Uniform Police (the primary police element in the Afghan National Police) in a chosen district while achieving gains in public works, the Rule of Law and local governance. An assessment team (composed primarily of members of the Afghan Ministry of Interior, Afghan Attorney General’s Office, ISAF Regional Command, and other relevant agencies) evaluates a district police unit and creates a plan for recruiting and training police for FDD.23  During FDD, Uniform Police are removed from their districts as a group and temporarily replaced by Afghan National Civil Order Police.24  The Uniform Police are trained and re-equipped at the Regional Training Center (RTC) for eight weeks, and then return to their district under the supervision and guidance of their police mentors.25  CSTC-A partners with the Afghan government during this process.

Initial reviews suggest that FDD is working, albeit slowly. Districts that have completed FDD have experienced a 60 percent decrease in civilian casualties,26 a significant statistic and telling of the larger trend of decreasing ANP casualties since mid-2009.27

 

The Afghan Public Protection Force

 

The Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF) is a lightly armed, quickly trained experimental program that began in early February 2009 that aims to establish a persistent security presence in some of the most insecure areas of Afghanistan. APPF is a special security mission under the command of the Afghan Ministry of Interior and is primarily charged with protecting communities, schools, government installations and highways that are continually threatened by insurgent elements.  The pilot program is underway in Wardak province, where there are only 1,200 ANP and ANA to protect a population of 500,000.28  According to General McKiernan, who commanded ISAF until June 2009, the APPF is “a means to use a community-based, bottom-up approach to improve security.”29

The APPF is modeled on traditional Pashtun tribal force structure called the Arbakais, which enforce the settlements of tribal disputes. However, the APPF serve in a public protection capacity rather than a law enforcement capacity; tribal power brokers will agree to a contract with the Afghan government and ISAF to “expel and deter insurgents, field APPF recruits and perform guard duties” in exchange for greater influence over local affairs.30  The APPF operate at the district level and they are chosen by the district leaders.31  Once they are vetted and approved by the Afghan Ministry of Interior (MoI), recruits are trained during a three-week program.32

The APPF is expected to expand from the Saydabad district of Wardak to 40 districts.  It will consist of roughly 8,000 members by July 2009, and will focus on securing the ring-road from Kabul to Kandahar.33  As of March 2009, over 243 recruits from Saydabad had received training while 200 recruits from the neighboring district of Jalrez had begun training.34  The program is set to be reviewed by CSTC-A before the summer of 2009.35  If found to be effective, the APPF model will likely be extended and expanded in an attempt to secure the population of insecure regions until sufficient ANP and ANSF forces can be fielded, trained, equipped and deployed.

A controversial program, the APPF has met with criticism for bearing resemblance to the old militias.  The short training of the force is also a major concern for critics.36  The transferability of the program to other parts of the country has been questioned, and many observers are warning against the long term adverse consequences of rearming local forces.37

 

The Afghan Border Police

 

The role of the Afghan Border Police (ABP) is to provide law enforcement capabilities at borders and entry points, including Afghanistan’s airports, in order to deter criminal activity and the movement of insurgents into Afghanistan.38  Afghanistan has approximately 3,500 miles of border, most of which is located in remote, mountainous areas. The border with Pakistan alone stretches approximately 1,200 miles, including the Border Security Zone which stretches 34 miles into Afghanistan and is considered to pose one of the greatest threats to stability in Afghanistan. It is worth noting that the Durand line was never formally recognized by the Afghan government as an official border. Currently, the ABP maintains an operational strength of approximately 12,000 out of an authorized strength of nearly 18,000.39  Like the Uniform Police, ABP are trained at Regional Training Centers for an eight-week period.40  By January 2009, the 4th BCT, 101st Airborne Division, began assigning each of its battalions to work with a battalion of border police during joint operations in eastern Afghanistan.41

 

The Focused Border Development Program

 

The ABP struggle with corruption and incompetence. Therefore, the Afghan government and international partners launched the Focused Border Development program in October of 2008.42  Between October 2008 and June 2009, the FBDP is “scheduled to train 52 company-sized units of ABP (4,200 ABP), at four training sites… conducted by U.S. private security contractors.”43  FBDPs initial efforts operate out of Regional Command East (RC East).

The FBDP will rely on partnerships with U.S. forces in RC East for training and embedded advisors.44  Under the FBDP, ABP companies are sent back to police training centers for eight weeks, receiving training in leadership, new border police training courses and corrective skills training according to the needs identified by the ISAF Regional Command Commander.45  After training is concluded, ABP forces are sent back to their border posts where they receive several months of training by embedded advisors.

If the program proves successful in RC East it will be expanded to RC South, provided sufficient resources are available. Currently, there are approximately 18 operational border facilities along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border with 147 facilities planned.46

 

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Endnotes

1 United Nations, “Agreement on Provisional Arrangements in Afghanistan Pending the Re-Establishment of Permanent Government Institutions,” December 5, 2001.
2 United Nations, “Agreement on Provisional Arrangements in Afghanistan Pending the Re-Establishment of Permanent Government Institutions,” Annex 1, “International Security Force,” December 5, 2001.
3 United Nations Security Council, UNSCR 1386, December 20, 2001.
4 United Nations Security Council, UNSCR 1386, December 20, 2001.
5 James Dobbins, John G. McGinn, Keith Crane, et al., “America’s Role in Nation-Building: From Germany to Iraq,” RAND Corporation Monograph, 2003, 134
6 United Nations Security Council, Report to the Secretary-General, “The situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security,” March 18, 2002, 11.
7 Sedra, Mark. “Security first: Afghanistan’s security sector reform process,” The Ploughshares Monitor, 24(4), Winter 2003 .
8 Inspectors General, U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Defense, “Interagency Assessment of Afghanistan Police Training and Readiness,” November 2006.
9 United Nations Security Council, UNSCR 1440, November 27, 2002; Turkey was previously in command (ISAF II), as provided for through UNSCR 1414, while Germany and the Netherlands assumed command in February 2003.
10 GAO Report, “Afghanistan Security: Efforts to Establish Army and Police Have Made Progress, but Future Plans Need to Be Better Defined,” June 2005, 10.
11 GAO Report, “Afghanistan Security: Efforts to Establish Army and Police Have Made Progress, but Future Plans Need to Be Better Defined,” June 2005, 26.
12 GAO Report, “Afghanistan Security: Efforts to Establish Army and Police Have Made Progress, but Future Plans Need to Be Better Defined,” June 2005, 8.
13 GAO Report, “Afghanistan Security: Efforts to Establish Army and Police Have Made Progress, but Future Plans Need to Be Better Defined,” June 2005, 6, 8.
14 GAO Report, “Afghanistan Security: Efforts to Establish Army and Police Have Made Progress, but Future Plans Need to Be Better Defined,” June 2005, p.21.
15 Berlin Conference on Afghanistan, “Berlin Declaration,” April 1, 2004.
16 Berlin Conference on Afghanistan, “Berlin Declaration,” April 1, 2004.
17 GAO Report, “Afghanistan Security: Efforts to Establish Army and Police Have Made Progress, but Future Plans Need to Be Better Defined,” June 2005, 3.
18 David T. Johnston, Assistant Secretary, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, United States Department of State, “Oversight of U.S. Efforts to Train and Equip Police and Enhance the Justice System in Afghanistan,” Statement before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs,  June 18, 2008.
19 Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan, “Fact Sheet: Afghan National Police,” March 15, 2009. 20 Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan, “Fact Sheet: Afghan National Police,” March 15, 2009.
21 Anthony H.Cordesman, “The Afghan Pakistan War,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, February 11, 2009, 32.
22 Anthony H.Cordesman, “The Afghan Pakistan War,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, February 11, 2009, 32.
23 Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Dillard, “Provincial development added to FDD program,” The Enduring Ledger, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) Public Affairs, February 2009, p.6.
24 John J. Kruzel, “Afghan Police Culture Evolves Through ‘Focused District Development’,” American Forces Press Service, May 19, 2008.
25 John J. Kruzel, “Afghan Police Culture Evolves Through ‘Focused District Development’,” American Forces Press Service, May 19, 2008.
26 Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Dillard, “Provincial development added to FDD program,” The Enduring Ledger, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) Public Affairs, February 2009, 6.
27 Cordesman, Anthony H., “The Afghan-Pakistan War: New NATO/ISAF Reporting on Key Trends,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, March 26, 2009, 20.
28 Abrashi, Fisnik, “Ragtag Afghan force trying to keep Taliban at bay,” Associated Press, April 2, 2009.
29 Hemming, Jon, “New Afghan local force to guard against Taliban,” Reuters, March 26, 2009.
30 C.J. Radin, “The Afghan Public Protection Force pilot program is underway,” The Long War Journal, March 25, 2009.
31 Abrashi, Fisnik, “Ragtag Afghan force trying to keep Taliban at bay,” Associated Press, April 2, 2009.
32 “New Afghan Program Supports Community-based Approach to Security,” American Forces Press Service, March 27, 2009.
33 C.J. Radin, “The Afghan Public Protection Force pilot program is underway,” The Long War Journal, March 25, 2009.
34 Jon Hemming, “New Afghan local force to guard against Taliban,” Reuters, March 26, 2009.
35 Jon Hemming, “New Afghan local force to guard against Taliban,” Reuters, March 26, 2009.
36  Farmer, Ben. “Nato 'must do more to reduce Afghan civilian casualties,'” The Daily Telegraph. April 03, 2009 37 Jalali, Ali Ahmad. “Winning in Afghanistan,” Parameters. Spring 2009 38 C.J. Radin, “The Afghan Public Protection Force pilot program is underway,” The Long War Journal, March 25, 2009.
39 Gisick, Michael, “Afghan border patrol facing more training courses,” Stars and Stripes, January 26, 2009.
40 Gisick, Michael, “Afghan border patrol facing more training courses,” Stars and Stripes, January 26, 2009.
41 Gisick, Michael, “Afghan border patrol facing more training courses,” Stars and Stripes, January 26, 2009.
42 C.J. Radin, “The Afghan Public Protection Force pilot program is underway,” The Long War Journal, March 25, 2009.
43 Catherine Dale, “War in Afghanistan: Strategy, Military Operations, and Issues for Congress,” CRS Report, January 23, 2009, 41.
44 C.J. Radin, “The Afghan Public Protection Force pilot program is underway,” The Long War Journal, March 25, 2009.
45 C.J. Radin, “The Afghan Public Protection Force pilot program is underway,” The Long War Journal, March 25, 2009.
46 Michael Gisick, “Afghan border patrol facing more training courses,” Stars and Stripes, January 26, 2009.

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